Blog: Spotlight on Apprenticeships

skills & training

Here at Onward, we’re celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 2023 by shining a spotlight on our Apprentices, past and present. But we know this isn’t something to celebrate only once a year. As our Apprenticeship scheme evolves and we see more and more colleagues achieve success, we want to continuously recognise our Apprentices for everything they bring to the success of our organisation.

With skills gaps growing across the market, it’s imperative for businesses to consider apprenticeship programmes as a means of developing their people. Whilst it is true that apprenticeships offer a great paid work opportunity for those just starting out in their careers, apprenticeship standards have come a long way and they’re now accessible to many people wanting to upskill in their current role or looking for a career-change.

Onward have been recruiting to a diverse range of apprenticeship roles for many years, as well as using apprenticeship programmes to upskill our current workforce. Why, might you ask? Because we know that apprenticeships are a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

Our experience is that apprentices are eager to learn and enthusiastic about the qualification they’ve chosen. Because apprenticeship programmes allow us to adapt training according to the needs of our business, we can shape the colleague experience to fit. This means learning from our experienced people and making use of all of the learning and development opportunities we have to offer, and in turn applying the valuable skills they’ve gained in practice. By the time our apprenticeship learners have achieved their apprenticeship, they have so much practical and technical skill and experience, retaining them builds our capability and protects our future.

In the past 12 months we’ve hired 15 colleagues to apprenticeship roles across our business, from roles in Construction, through to Customer Service and Housing Management. We’ve also supported 35 existing colleagues to enrol on apprenticeship programmes to enable them to progress their careers.

We couldn’t be prouder of our apprentices, how they apply themselves and the value they add to our organisation. Because of them we are able to deliver a higher quality of service in a more productive environment and therefore they’re also improving the lives of our customers and really making the Onward Difference.

But don’t just take our word for it:

85% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation

78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity

76% of employers said apprenticeships improved staff retention

85% would recommend apprenticeships to other employers

If you’re still considering whether or not apprenticeships are right for your business, the facts speak for themselves!

You can view all of our current vacancies here